SAN DIEGO, Jan. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD), a therapeutic medical device and technology company focused on unmet needs in viral diseases, oncology and inflammation, today announced the expansion of its executive team with two key appointments: Guy Cipriani as Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer, and Steven LaRosa, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. In his new role, Mr. Cipriani will oversee business development and partnerships, while also contributing to fundraising and corporate development. Dr. LaRosa will be responsible for the clinical development of Aethlon's Hemopurifier®, including leading clinical operations and regulatory strategy.
"The appointments of Guy and Steve enhance the breadth of experience and practical clinical and business experience of our existing leadership team," said Charles J. Fisher, Jr., M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Aethlon. "Guy brings a remarkable scope of accomplishments and experience to Aethlon, including partnering, strategy, licensing, and intellectual property development. Steve has a unique blend of clinical leadership and industry research experience to take the helm of our clinical development programs as we continue to validate the Hemopurifier in cancer and infectious diseases."
Mr. Cipriani has served on Aethlon's Board of Directors since June 2018. Prior to joining Aethlon as an executive, he served as the Chief Business Officer at Microbion Corporation, a company focused on the development of a new class of antibiotic therapies for difficult to treat and resistant infections. His business and corporate development responsibilities at Microbion included securing partnerships and raising dilutive and non-dilutive capital for the company's promising clinical-stage pipeline. Prior to Microbion, he served as VP of Business Development at Cascadian Therapeutics where he was responsible for licensing-in several promising pipeline candidates and generating external interest in the company's clinical-stage pipeline to set the stage for future strategic transactions. Prior to that role, Mr. Cipriani served as VP of Business Development at Cardiome Pharma Corp. where he led the negotiation of an $800 million global development and co-commercialization licensing deal with Merck & Company in 2009 around the company's lead Phase 3 cardiovascular program. Prior to Cardiome, Mr. Cipriani served as Sr. Director of Business Development for TransForm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where his efforts helped facilitate the company's acquisition by Johnson and Johnson for $230 million in 2005. Mr. Cipriani began his pharmaceutical industry career at Eli Lilly & Company as a member of their Corporate Business Development team where he completed multiple in-licensing and out-licensing transactions for commercial, clinical and preclinical state assets. Mr. Cipriani holds a B.S.E.E., High Honors from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Prior to joining Aethlon, Dr. LaRosa served as the Vice President of Clinical Development of Entasis Therapeutics, a spin-out of AstraZeneca focused on pathogen-targeted small molecules to treat serious multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections. In this role, he acted as medical lead and was responsible for the clinical development of multiple programs, three of which were in Phase III clinical development. Prior to joining Entasis, Dr. LaRosa was an Attending Physician in the Division of Infectious Disease at Beverly Hospital, Beth Israel, in Massachusetts. Dr. LaRosa remains the Medical Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Beverly Hospital, Beth Israel. Prior to Beth Israel, he was an Attending Physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rhode Island Hospital. Prior to that, Dr. LaRosa was an Associate Staff Physician in the Department of Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He also served as a Clinical Research Physician for Eli Lilly and Company. Throughout his career, Dr. LaRosa has had several academic appointments. Dr. LaRosa holds his M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine and his B.S. in Biology from Boston College and had five years of training at Cleveland Clinic, including the position of chief resident, and four years of career development at Harvard University.
About Aethlon and the Hemopurifier®
Aethlon is focused on addressing unmet needs in global health. The Aethlon Hemopurifier is a clinical-stage immunotherapeutic device designed to combat cancer and life-threatening viral infections. In cancer, the Hemopurifier is designed to deplete the presence of circulating tumor-derived exosomes that promote immune suppression.
The Hemopurifier® is an FDA designated "Breakthrough Device" related to the treatment of individuals with advanced or metastatic cancer who are either unresponsive to or intolerant of standard of care therapy, and with cancer types in which exosomes have been shown to participate in the development or severity of the disease cancer. Under an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application, in October 2019 the FDA approved an Early Feasibility Study (EFS), which is the device equivalent of a Phase 1 clinical trial for a drug or biologic, in a single center, open label trial in 10 to 12 subjects. The study is evaluating the HEMOPURIFIER® for reducing cancer-associated exosomes prior to the administration of standard-of-care pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®), which is a first-line therapy for patients with recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The EFS is being conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center.
The Hemopurifier also holds a Breakthrough Device designation related to life-threatening viruses that are not addressed with approved therapies. In June 2020, the FDA approved an amendment to the Company's existing open IDE for the Hemopurifier in life threatening viral infections, to allow for the treatment of patients with SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 infection. This will allow for up to 40 of these patients to be treated under a new Early Feasibility Study protocol at up to 20 clinical sites in the U.S.
Aethlon also owns 80% of Exosome Sciences, Inc., which is focused on the discovery of exosomal biomarkers to diagnose and monitor cancer and neurological disease progression. Additional information can be found online at www.AethlonMedical.com and www.ExosomeSciences.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks and uncertainties. Statements containing words such as "may," "believe," "anticipate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "project," "will," "projections," "estimate," "potentially," "appear" or similar expressions constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties and actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Factors that may contribute to such differences include, without limitation, Aethlon Medical, Inc.'s (the Company) ability to enroll patients in the Early Feasibility Studies, the Company's ability to successfully complete the Early Feasibility Studies and achieve the endpoints for the studies, or any future studies with its Hemopurifier or to successfully develop and commercialize the Hemopurifier, the Company's ability to establish collaborations and to raise capital. The foregoing list of risks and uncertainties is illustrative, but is not exhaustive. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements can be found under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2020, and in the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Except as may be required by law, the Company does not intend, nor does it undertake any duty, to update this information to reflect future events or circumstances.
Company Contact: Jim FrakesChief Financial OfficerAethlon Medical, Inc. Jfrakes@aethlonmedical.com
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SOURCE Aethlon Medical, Inc.